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Promise to Jordan holding unique event to battle addiction

Updated: Feb 2, 2022


Make A Promise: Understanding Substance Use Disorders

Monday, Nov. 18 — 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Simsbury High School

FREE — for all ages


On June 30, 2018, Simsbury resident Jordan Arakelian died from an accidental heroin and fentanyl overdose. He was just 24 years old. He and the 1,000-plus other Connecticut residents who lost their lives to substance use disorders last year had a family and friends who loved them, a bright future, and so much talent and compassion to offer the world, but it was cut short by the disease of addiction.

Accidental overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans in his age group, those under 50. Americans are now more likely to die of an accidental overdose than in a car crash.

A month after Jordan’s death, A Promise to Jordan was born. The nonprofit works to raise awareness and eliminate the stigma of addiction and mental health disorders, to assist people in accessing quality care, and to give hope that recovery is possible for those struggling with the disease of addiction.

A Promise to Jordan also works to prevent substance use disorders before they start. On what would be Jordan’s 26th birthday, Nov. 18, 2019, A Promise to Jordan will hold a unique event — Make A Promise: Understanding Substance Use Disorders — on the field at Simsbury High School. This will be a first-of-its-kind event to be held on the grounds of a Connecticut school, according to the nonprofit.

A Promise to Jordan works to prevent substance use disorders before they start.

The goal will be to reach young people before they are in the grips of addiction and help them realize that, contrary to what they may believe, it is happening in every community, in every school, and in many families every day in America.

On Jan. 21, 2016, Tim Lally, a resident of Ellington, Conn., died of a heroin overdose at the age of 29. Shortly thereafter, his father John began the memorial project that would change the face of addiction throughout Connecticut.

He started by putting his son’s picture on a 2’ x 3’ poster board, along with the name of the town he was from and two words that he felt best described his son: Artist and Musician. He then extended the offer to family members of others lost to addiction to make a poster to memorialize their loved ones.

The project has now grown to over 360 posters of beautiful faces from 36 states that John displays at various events throughout New England to showcase the impact of addiction on families and communities. It is both an impressive and moving display.

Over 150 of these memorial posters are of people from Connecticut, and they will be on display on the field at Simsbury High School in an effort to drive home to students the horrific and often permanent consequences of illegal and irresponsible alcohol and drug use.

The event (see details above) is free of charge and is open to everyone, not just Simsbury High students. A Promise to Jordan hopes to attract students by offering music, food trucks and activities that will engage them while conveying the important message that addiction does not discriminate and can happen to anyone.

More info — • 860-305-0605 •

Contributor — A Promise to Jordan

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